05 – What are working patterns like in the voluntary sector?

  • In 2011, 292,000 people were working part-time in the voluntary sector, amounting to two-fifths (40%) of the sector’s workforce. This proportion is much larger than those of the public and private sectors (30% and 25% respectively) (LFS).
  • The number of part-time workers in the voluntary sector decreased by 37,000 between 2010 and 2011. However, the proportion of the sector’s workers who were employed part-time saw an increase of more than 2% (LFS).
  • Nearly half (47%) of the women employed within the voluntary sector were employed part-time compared to less than a quarter (24%) of men. Men working within the voluntary sector however were more likely to be employed part-time than in the private and public sectors (13% and 12% respectively) (LFS).
  • Women in the private and public sectors were less likely than their voluntary sector counterparts to be working part-time (44% and 40% respectively) (LFS).
  • Fewer than one in six (16%) voluntary sector part-time employees were working part-time because they could not find a full-time job. This proportion has risen by four per cent since 2010. The share is higher than in the public sector (13%) but lower than in the private sector (18%) (LFS).
  • The share of part-time employees in the voluntary sector who did not want to work full-time was 75%, down from 78% in 2010 (LFS).

Part-time and full-time employment in the voluntary sector including reason for part-time employment, 2001-2011 (headcount)

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Source: Labour Force Survey (Base: All people aged 16 and over)
  • Full-time employees in the voluntary sector were contracted to work an average of 40.7 hours per week (excluding overtime), just less than the public sector (41.1 hours). Private sector full-time employees worked a slightly longer week of 43.4 hours (LFS).
  • For part-time workers in the voluntary sector, the average number of hours contracted per week was 19.5, excluding overtime. This is slightly higher than the private sector (18.1 hours) but less than the public sector (20.4 hours) (LFS).